Bean There, Tasted That!


Monica and Tom Rogan have a pretty sweet gig. The couple work together as the team behind Goodnow Farms Chocolate, making single-origin craft chocolate bars out of a commercial kitchen they opened behind their namesake Sudbury farmhouse in August. “Different types of cacao beans, much like coffee beans, have distinct flavors, and using beans from a single origin allows us to highlight those flavors,” Monica explains. Working together allows the couple to spend more time at home with their two young children, but family matters aren’t the only factor driving their business. Committed to ethical sourcing and sustainability, they use beans from small farms in Central and South America and work to develop lasting relationships with the farmers. “We’ve spent time in the village of San Juan Chivite speaking with the farmers about their priorities, and as a result of those conversations we funded construction of a new fermentation and drying facility in the village,” Monica says. “We’ve also agreed to pay one of the villagers to oversee the bean fermentation and drying full-time during the harvest season. It’s this kind of close, long-term relationship that helps ensure both a sustainable supply of high-quality cacao and that farmers are fairly compensated for their labor.” That cacao is used to create bars like El Carmen (Tom’s favorite), which has more of a “classic chocolate flavor” and features beans from Nicaragua, and Asochivite (Monica’s bar of choice), a “wonderfully fruity” chocolate made with cacao from Guatemala.

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